- For the Vampire: The Eternal Struggle card set, see Anarchs (VTES).
Anarchs are vampires who reject the status quo of Cainite society. The resulting organization of anarchs is called the Anarch Movement, whose traditional strongholds are Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.
- anarch: A rebel among the Kindred, one with no respect for the elders. Most fledglings are automatically assumed to be anarchs by the elders, and are despised as products of the 20th century.
The Anarchs especially resent the privileged status held by elders within the Camarilla and other vampire sects; when the eldest hold the most power in a society of immortals, the lot of neonates is not a happy one. As such, they are naturally targeted for recruitment by the Sabbat.
Most of the Anarchs respect and uphold the Masquerade and some of the other Traditions, even if they do not respect the vampires who enforce them or the system that benefits from them. Anarchs (like all vampires), are considered a faction of the Camarilla by its members, but unlike the Sabbat they are tolerated, as per the terms of the Convention of Thorns.
The Anarch's historical origins lie in the Anarch Revolt that birthed the Sabbat, but in recent nights they are mostly an unorganized rabble of younger vampires and Caitiff. "Anarch" was originally a name imposed upon them by Camarilla elders, since they sought to overthrow the leadership structures of Cainite society, but while many Anarchs are indeed anarchists, the more traditional desire has been the bringing equality and democracy (or at least meritocracy) to kindred society.
In modern nights, the Anarchs that have been sidelined to the fringes of kindred society have gathered together under the banner of the "Anarch Movement". This organized movement made their single largest coup against the tyranny of the elders and the sects during the Second Anarch Revolt. During this revolution, the Anarchs liberated Los Angeles in 1944; within a year, they established an Anarch Free State across southern and central California, overthrowing the Princes of the liberated cities and establishing in their places the Anarch Barons - which were given a much more tolerant degree of authority over their fellow Anarchs.
The establishment and continued existence of the Free State has put a greater strain on Anarch-Camarilla relations than at any point since the original Revolt. During the second half of the 20th century, the Free State withstood constant incursions from Camarilla and Sabbat alike. However, the Kuei-jin staged a concentrated incursion into the region in the late 1990s with the assistance of a few highly-placed ex-Anarchs who sought to preserve the region's independence from both Camarilla and Sabbat.
The Kuei-jin managed to oust Jeremy MacNeill, the Baron of Los Angeles, only to lose the city to a Camarilla counter-offensive. Now the region holds a fragile détente between four factions: the Anarchs in what remains of the Free State, the Kuei-jin in the New Promise Mandarinate centered around San Francisco, the Camarilla with footholds in Los Angeles and San Diego, and the Sabbat to the south, in Mexico.
The Anarchs themselves are not a sect, per se; in most areas, they were regarded as merely a faction on the fringes of the dominant Camarilla hierarchy. However, when the loosely-organized Anarch Movement has emerged over the course of the past century, they have begun to establish their own traditions, power blocs, territories, and all the other trappings of a full-fledged sect.
On a functional level, the Anarch Movement has kindred fulfilling most official functions recognized by the Camarilla proper. That is, barons have their advisors and enforcers, they’re often guided by a council of their peers, some of them even have a standing coterie of bruisers and investigators for police and military duty. None of these offices and positions appear in the list of titles below, however.
The anarch leaders may have such offices, and a large portion of the subsect may recognize the need for them, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to admit to the rest of the vampiric world — or even to their own population — that they exist.
- The Baron - By its simplest definition, a baron is simply the Anarch Movement’s equivalent of a prince. However, they are not quite the same, for it’s not uncommon for a given city to have two recognized barons, each claiming a different jurisdiction of the city - sometimes the two are rivals, but more often, however, barons work cooperatively.
- The Emissary - These are anarchs that must carry the olive branch to the other sects, must negotiate and haggle and play the games of prestation and diplomacy if the movement is to survive. They are also called ambassadors, heralds and, by more cynical members of the sect, expendables.
- The Sweeper - A sweeper’s duty is simple: he walks around and observes other vampires in the anarch territory, recording names and faces and, where possible, attitudes, abilities, clan ancestry and anything else he can discover. The barons themselves prefer to call a vampire who holds this position a counter or even census taker, but most anarchs use the terms sweeper, proctor, Sherlock or even, on occasion, abacus.
- The Chameleon - An informal title, also known as a Bond (after James), mole, submarine or sub. A chameleon, quite simply, are spies or any anarch who holds a position of some authority in one of the other sects.
- Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition, p. 21, 25, 32, 44-45
- Anarchs Unbound
- Guide to the Anarchs
- The Anarch Cookbook: A Friendly Guide to Vampire Politics
- Book of the Damned (1993), p. 123